[Side A] Winter 2017 – Thoughts on Week 6

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What the– it’s mid-season, already?

Holy crap how time flies. That means I need to prepare a mid-season round-up soon. I dunno if it’s because so many things have been happening as of late, or maybe I’m just having too much fun this season. Because to be honest, I’m actually quite surprised with how the shows have been fairing this season. I mean, there’s March comes in Like a LionRakugo Shinjû, and even Scum’s Wish and ACCA that are doing just fantastic. I mean, I hope I’m not sounding overly optimistic for a critic, but the shows are actually GOOD for a change.

But then again, every time I say that mid-season, I get disappointed when it comes time to pack up. Not that I’m getting anyone’s hopes up — I just honestly feel like I’m enjoying myself this season. And I guess that’s something to be happy about.

So just how were the shows on Side A this week? Let’s RUN ‘EM DOWN!

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[Side A] Winter 2017 – Thoughts on Week 5

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Strange realization when I saw this scene in Demi-chan wa Kataritai — I was scheduled to donate blood last Saturday, but I forgot to show up.

Oops.

Well yeah, go figure. The blood donation center is a good 2 miles from my house, and I can’t half-ass myself to take the bus going there at a chilling 5 degrees celsius at midday. UK weather is just incredible — if it isn’t freezing, it’s friggin’ raining!

Oh well, more reason for me to shut myself indoors during the weekend and enjoy a well-deserved break from a manic week. So enough chit chat, and let’s run down how Side A is doing so far! Continue reading

Lost in Translation #4 – March comes in like a Lion

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Hey guys! Time for another Lost in Translation! This entry comes from episode 16 of March comes in like a Lion, where we are treated to a bit of Japanese culture in the form of the Hinamatsuri a.k.a. “Girl’s Day”.

Now if you’ve watched enough anime at this point, you’ve probably already encountered Girl’s Day and are familiar with the idea of how the Japanese celebrate young women and wish for their good fortune in life, marriage, and fortune by putting up dolls that mimic the formation of the imperial courts during the Heian period. But what I’d like to share with you today has more to do with the food items that were tossed left and right during the discourse. WARNING – I will not be responsible if you suddenly have the urge to go out for Japanese cuisine. Continue reading

[Side A] Winter 2017 – Thoughts on Week 4

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And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the art of “clickbait”.

Well, if you’re in to that sorta thing, at least. But what does this have to do with my week so far? Actually, I’ve been pretty into following up on what’s going on with the Nintendo Switch, so much so that it’s come to the point that a big chunk of news articles online — from “reputable” sources, at that — are creating poorly-researched articles just to get in on the hype surrounding the reputed hybrid-console. Then there’s the over-hyped coverage of Trump’s recent executive order that’s got people bawling their heads out in agony. But don’t get me wrong — I’m not undermining the repercussions of these news articles in general. I’m simply trying to highlight the fact that there’s always an underlying message that is being communicated in the way all things are presented — be it politics or, you guessed it, anime.

And for the anime, at least, I think if they aren’t trying to push for a meaningful message, then they’re probably just toying around with the mainstay stropes that people have grown accustomed to. And that’s all fine, I can live with that. But that, in itself, has made me toss aside some titles in favor of things that offer more than pure self-gratification.

So what the heck happened this week to make me say all that? Well, let’s find out! Continue reading

[Side A] Winter 2017 – Thoughts on Week 3

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Be unproductive. Be lazy. Be Edna.

But seriously, I had such a lazy weekend. That and the fact that I have so many deadlines, so yeah that’s definitely not a good thing. Still, Edna is just chill as f**k.

Quite similarly, things have been pretty “chill” during the third week of Winter. It’s funny in that the shows seem to be pretty comfortable quite early on, regardless of how quirky each of them might be. And that’s probably because one of them is the venerable March comes in like a Lion, which is by far just owning the pack at this point. But even without its head start, shows like Shôwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjû and, yes, even the prodigal Tales of Zestiria the X are re-proving their worth as the weeks go by. That almost makes the newer titles in this group, Demi-chan wa Kataritai and Urara Meirochô, pale in comparison.

So what just happened? Let’s run ’em down! Continue reading

[Side A] Winter 2017 – Thoughts on Weeks 1 & 2

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Gaaaah… That’s what I get for saying things and then end up jinxing the situation. As much as I wanted to get out a week in review a bit earlier this week, lab work had me fully decked and basically coming home too exhausted to write, let alone even watch anything.

But yeah, so is life. C’est la vie and all that jazz. I’m happy I can get back to writing. So like I said, I’m splitting up my weekly thoughts into two parts, which have been re-named somewhat and are labeled “Side A” and “Side B”. Not to sound patronizing, but in case some of you out there might be too young to remember this, we used to listen to music on audio cassettes that had you flip it around when it got to the end. There were also things called laser discs, which were basically the spiritual predecessor of the DVD — and yes, they had two sides, as well. Likewise, my thoughts have two sides to them. Neat, huh?

Anyway, that’s enough history for one post. So let’s get down to it then, shall we? Side A of the weekly thoughts — let’s do this! Continue reading

Fall 2016 – Season End Ranking

I made it to the end of a season! Wohoo!

We made it to the end of a year! Wohoo!

Yeah, 2016 was a pretty bad hand, but instead of brooding over what was, I think it’s also just as important for us to appreciate what we have. And true enough, 2016 was quite an adventure for me. I’ve been to three different continents, seven different countries, and fourteen different cities; I’ve met random people on the street and have met new friends and faces in all of my travels. And I’m not here to show how blessed I am; rather, I’m here to tell you that it’s important to count your blessings as well.

It’s one of the reasons why I rushed in a review for Flying Witch, to remind everyone to look for the magic in a dismal world. Because it’s only in realizing what’s important to us — the things we value — that we actually strive to see to it that these things are upheld. It’s what ignites passion and fuels change. Never lose sight of the things that have made your life worth living, no matter how shitty 2016 was.

Because the truth is, there’s no telling how shitty 2017 will be. Or the year after that. But if you know what it is you live for, then that’s an entirely different story.

But what does that have to do with anime? Well, nothing really. But I’ve been trying to link the anime I watch with life in general, and to a certain extent I think I’ve achieved that. What I write basically tries to prove to people that you can learn quite a lot about life through moving images on a television screen, and that every story has a hidden message just waiting to be told. We can bitch and rant about the things we hate about 2016 — just as much as we can bitch and rant about the things that sucked about anime. But I’m here to talk about what makes us enjoy the things we enjoy; what makes us hate the things we hate; what makes us keep coming back for more and more anime despite all of that.

In short — anime is love; anime is life.

And before I go on aimlessly with this lengthy entry, let’s move on to the season end ranking, yeah! (man, what a messy segue) Continue reading